Top 10 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Regular Exercise such as walking, cycling, yoga and weights training is important to keep our body functioning at an optimal level. Living an active life helps to keep fresh blood circulating around our body and regulate the chemicals in our brain.
Okay, so we all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that Regular Exercise can help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety?
Whilst it’s clear that exercise helps to improve your body’s physical functioning, it also has a number of other benefits. Research has shown that exercise releases chemicals in our brains such as serotonin and endorphins. These chemicals help us to feel good. Increased levels of serotonin has also been found to regulate libido, sleep, appetite and mood. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms of depression or anxiety, regular exercise can help to improve your overall wellness. Studies have found that when you incorporate exercise into your daily routine it can improve your concentration and alertness as well as the functioning of your immune system.
The Top 10 Benefits of Exercise for Mental Well-Being Are:
- Increased blood circulation important for the following points.
- Brain chemical such as serotonin and endorphins are better regulated thereby alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Improved libido
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved appetite
- Increased concentration and alertness
- Improved immune system functioning which keeps us feeling well
- Better perceived ability to cope with daily life
- Increased sense of energy to get through our day
- Greater personal well-being = better relationships!
I don’t think that there is any disputing the positive effect of exercise, but let’s face it … sometimes it is difficult to find motivation to get moving! It’s hard to get motivated on the best of days, and it’s even harder when we are feeling overwhelmed with hopelessness. Depression often makes us feel that nothing will help us – you are not alone in this! So here are a few hints to make regular exercise more manageable!
- Create a plan! Add in time to each day for exercise. Even if it is only 20 minutes per day. When something is part of your routine you do it on “autopilot”.
- Choose activities that you enjoy! If gyms or running isn’t your thing that’s fine. Why not start with a morning walk along the beach?
- Start small and work your way up. Set exercise goals that are achievable. Why not start off with a gentle walk and then work up to a brisk walk or jog?
- Drop the all or nothing attitude. If you can’t exercise one day then don’t give up. There’s always tomorrow
- Be kind to yourself!
- Recognize your achievements and reward yourself.
The benefits of exercise have been shown time and time again. Have you noticed changes in your mood when you exercise compared to times when you have struggled to get up from the couch? Why not conduct your own experiment on yourself and see if you see any results? There’s nothing to lose!